What is an elevator pitch? If you had just a few minutes with someone important – like a potential employer you really wanted to work with or an entrepreneur – what would you say to them about your idea or abilities?
As a student, you may already know how important it is to get your foot in the door. With the right short pitch, you could do just that. To help you, our career advisors at Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona have pulled together some elevator pitch examples for students. Use these to help create a plan for landing your next big gig.
What Is an Elevator Pitch?
The term “pitch” refers to any situation in which you may present an idea or project to someone in the hopes that they like it and agree to work with you. A pitch like this can be used to get a job, start a business, or get funding for school. An elevator pitch is a much shorter version – usually about 30 seconds. It is a speech that you give to encourage people to invest in you.
It’s important that all job seekers, including students with no experience, be ready to offer this type of pitch. Doing so enables you to be able to provide that person with an enticing opportunity to work with you in some way. You don’t always get these opportunities. That’s why you should create a pitch you can stand behind now so you’re ready to use it later.
When providing a pitch like this, it is important to get right to the point. It should be a quick overview of your educational accomplishments and skills, along with any type of work you may have completed in the past. It has to be short and to the point but should provide enough information that the person listening to you understands your goals and your skills.
Elevator Pitch Examples
Check out a few of these sample speeches. Be sure to personalize them to make them your own.
On the job interview
Let’s say you are going to a job interview, and the interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself.” That’s the perfect time to provide a pitch. Here’s an example.
“For the last 2 years, I’ve been working on completing my associate’s degree in business communications taking courses on administration, human resources, and international communications. I am enjoying the challenging content of these courses, having developed skills in relationship building, sales, and HR, and I hope to use these skills to create a leadership position in a well-respected company like your own.”
Meeting a person you want to work with
“Hi, my name is John Smith, and I noticed that your company has an opening in administrative sales. For the last year, I’ve been working to hone my skills in this area, having taken a number of courses and classes on online and in-person communications, computer system management, and business communications. I really enjoy working with people and find myself drawn to your company for the good work it is doing to help our community. I would love to be a part of that!”
When you have no experience
“Hi, my name is Ryan. When I saw your open position listed on your company’s website, I knew I wanted to apply. I’m a very success-driven person who learns quickly on the job. I’m working on my degree in the business field, but I’m passionate about the products and services your company has to offer. I’m responsible, determined to succeed and have a lot of experience in working with other people. I am confident I can fill that open position because of the past work I’ve completed in this field. After reading your website, I really want to be a part of what you offer.”
“Hello. I noticed you were hiring for a sales associate position. While I haven’t had any direct sales experience, I have great people skills and am often told I could sell anything. While I was in high school, I was always the leader in fundraising programs. We did a lot of them to help support local community events and school needs. I made it my passion to help these organizations by educating givers and talking to anyone I could. I know these skills could help me do well in your high-stakes sales position. Would you consider giving me the position?”
For the college student
“Hi! My name is Amanda, and I’m in my final year of studying exercise physiology at the University of XX. I’m passionate about health and fitness, having spent the last 4 years studying every topic I could in the field. I’m looking for an opportunity to use these skills to prove myself through an internship or a formal position. I’m well prepared for the challenges of working in a busy gym like your own and have visited a few times. Can I provide you with my resume and contact information so you can consider me for any available position?”
Career fair example
“Hello, my name is James. I’m currently taking some marketing courses at the community college. I have about three years of experience working in customer service and learned the ropes of entry-level management. I love marketing, though, and want to be a part of a fast-growing marketing company that is helping to change the world. I’ve taken several digital marketing courses as well as some business management courses to this point. I’m hoping to get my career started, so I can start to make a real difference and test out my wings. I’m a fast learner and have a lot of social media and local marketing experience I know can help!”
Tips for Creating Your Own Elevator Pitch
Whether you are in college or taking a few of the courses we offer here at Goodwill, creating an elevator pitch isn’t something you should put off until you’re ready. Work on developing it now. Here are some additional tips that can help you do well when you do get that opportunity:
- Be sure to introduce yourself. Use a formal greeting, your name, and make eye contact with the individual. You’re not reading off a piece of paper but trying to create a bond with the person you’re speaking with right now.
- Say what you do and how you do it. Talk about whatever experience you have. It could be the experience in past jobs you’ve held, even those in an unrelated field. Use volunteer work and the types of classes you’re taking in college to help you fill in what to say.
- Be positive and professional. Smile even if you’re nervous. Most importantly, try to be yourself.
- Try to include some type of captivating detail about yourself and your experience.
- Use the end of your pitch as a way to start the conversation. For example, you can say, “do you have time to review my resume?” That allows the other party to start the conversation about available positions.
An elevator pitch is all about showcasing who you are and what you have to offer. It’s important to be professional. Update your pitches as often as needed to really showcase your new skills and experiences.